P.E.I.'s NDP is calling for an extension to the moratorium on so-called renovictions.
The party made the call during its annual meeting Sunday in Charlottetown.
In one of its main resolutions, the party said the new Residential Tenancy Act still allows landlords to terminate a tenant if they plan to do repairs or renovations, and that needs to stop.
The moratorium, which prevents landlords from evicting tenants while they do renovations on a unit, had been in effect for two years. It expired on Nov. 1.
Kevin Trainor, a party member from Donagh, described the practice as an "unbelievably despicable act." He said he knows of many people who have been left homeless because of renovictions.
Trainor supported the resolution. He's also calling on government and business leaders to come together to find a way to address the issue.
'People that can ill afford it'
"Homelessness right now is a major problem and that has not been helped by people that have been renovicted," said Trainor.
"If they do the renoviction, there's no grounds that the people that own those places have to help the people that are kicked out onto the street. And unfortunately, the people that are put out on the street are the people that can ill afford it."
About 30 people attended the annual meeting at Beaconsfield Carriage House along Charlottetown's waterfront. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)
The practice was sometimes used by landlords to skirt provincial rent controls by charging higher rents to the next tenants to take the unit.
The province says its new Residential Tenancy Act contains safeguards against the practice. That includes a requirement for landlords to offer the unit to the original tenant once renovations are complete.
The NDP also passed a resolution calling for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act which would include the consideration of tenants' income in determining annual rent increases.
'I was absolutely appalled'
Michelle Neill, Island New Democrat leader, said she realizes renovations sometimes need to happen but the proper procedures need to be in place to ensure tenants have a place to stay during and after the renovations.
Michelle Neill, Island New Democrat leader, says proper procedures need to be in place to ensure tenants have a place to stay during and after the renovations. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)
"I was absolutely appalled that there were none of the parties that brought forward that fact and made sure that it was extended because we simply do not have enough housing right now to house everyone who needs it," Neill said in an interview with CBC News.
"So our tenants are very scared, they've been telling me that, they're scared that once that moratorium is over that there are going to be all kinds of renovictions."
About 30 people attended the annual NDP meeting at Beaconsfield Carriage House along Charlottetown's waterfront.
Neil said she was disappointed the party didn't win a seat in this spring's election. The party earned less than five per cent of the vote.
'Working on what we've learned'
In fact, the NDP has only ever elected an MLA once in the party's history. That was 27 years ago – in 1996 – when Herb Dickieson won in District 25, West Point-Bloomfield.
People wrote values they enjoy about the NDP at party headquarters in Charlottetown during the 2023 provincial election. The party is already getting ready for the next election in 2027. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)
Dickieson was defeated four years later by 22 votes.
Neill said the party is already focusing on the next election, which is scheduled for October 2027.
"We're already starting work on that," said Neill.
"We have what's called a post-election committee that is working on what we've learned from the past election and we're working toward what we want to do and what our goals are for the next election."